Distributed to Congress by Irish National Caucus

    Allison Morris. Irish News. Belfast. Friday, October 18, 2019

    Anyone surprised that Boris Johnson shook hands on a withdrawal deal with the EU which goes against the wishes of the DUP simply hasn’t been paying attention.

    Johnson, an English nationalist, has promised to deliver Brexit by October 31 and will spare no-one in what has become an idealogical pursuit that takes precedence over all else.

    The DUP have badly overplayed their hand.

    They have held up Brexit and been partially responsible for the mayhem at Westminster.

    Along with their allies in the European Research Group they held out against Theresa May, continually blocking her attempts to get a Brexit agreement.

    Once their preferred candidate in Johnson was appointed they appeared to be closer to the seat of power than ever before.

    But they’ve learned the hard way that the posh Tory old boys’ club at Westminster is about self-preservation at all costs and the DUP have been deemed, like many who came before them, expendable.

    How Arlene Foster must hark back to those halcyon days of June 2017 when the DUP were ‘kingmakers’ at Westminster.

    The precious Union seemed safe and secure in the hands of a Tory/DUP coalition as they prepared to march hand in hand towards Brussels to take back control.

    Trade deals would be made on their terms, countries around the world would bow to the power of the British Empire and the DUP would be seated at the right hand ready to help spend the spoils of a political defeat of the ‘Brussels bureaucrats’.

    Arlene Foster showed loyalty to Johnson by backing his original ‘two borders’ deal, a deal that enraged many within unionism and awoke a sleeping ogre in the loyalist paramilitary groups who have been briefing journalists with threats of widespread disorder if they are ‘sold out’.

    That Sinn Féin gave a cautious welcome to the latest deal saying it appeared to be a “least worst option” will only further ramp up that loyalist fury.

    “If Sinn Féin welcome it, loyalists will reject it,” said one senior source this week.

    The situation the DUP now find themselves in must sting. They’ve angered their voter base and been betrayed by their closest ally.

    However, Johnson is far from home on a boat yet. He still has to get his deal past parliament and do so without the support of the DUP 10.

    All eyes now turn to Westminster to see what the next chapter is in the remarkable story of these extraordinary political times.